Yet another strange album from a very strange guy. Once upon a time in the 80's, there was a young gun named Gregory Darling whose musical talent fell into the hands of one Vicki Hamilton, the legendary lass who managed & signed both Poison and Guns N' Roses to annoying stardom at the height of the hair metal epoch. Unfortunately, despite recording 1989's avant-gardish Passion Crimes and hitting it big with MTV while under her wing, Darling was dropped from his label and has since then basically vanished to the point that even the underground people don't know where he is. He joined some punk band for awhile in the 90's, but after that? Who the fuck knows.
At the very least, however, we do have this sole album that The Man Who Never Was released, and it is indeed quite a whopper. Equal parts The Cure, The Church, Peter Hamill and pompish 80's arena rock, this is one of those weird yet wonderfully distinctive recordings that doesn't really sound like it fits into any particular genre despite its melodious and often quite inventive rock-based set. Flutes, sax and carnival instruments seem to pop up just as often as a heavy metal guitar solo, and every song sounds like a myriad of ideas and nuances to serve as colorful vehicles for the torment behind these lyrics. Darling's voice is raspy, viscous and somehow extremely fragile despite its range, and doesn't sound quite like anyone else. As for some of these songs...since when did Middle Eastern jazz-fusion bands cover The Cars? ['Weight On My Shoulders']. And why are the Cocteau Twins writing songs for Motley Crue? ['Love Child']. BLARGH!!!!!
So yep, this is one amazing fuckin' record. Makes me wonder what Darling would have done next if he hadn't gotten the boot. We can only wonder...
Listen Here - "Weight On My Shoulders"